The Dutch Financial Information and Investigation Service has not ruled out multiple arrests in its ongoing criminal investigation against the Tornado Cash crypto mixer.
Authorities in the Netherlands have arrested a developer suspected of money laundering through the cryptocurrency mixing service Tornado Cash.
The Financial Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), an agency responsible for investigating financial crimes in the Netherlands, officially announced the arrest of a 29-year-old man in Amsterdam on Friday.
The authority said the man was involved in facilitating criminal financial flows and money laundering through Tornado Cash.
The FIOD noted that the Financial Advanced Cyber Team (FACT) opened a criminal investigation against Tornado Cash in June 2022, noting that it does not rule out the possibility of multiple arrests in the case.
According to FACT, Tornado Cash is allegedly used to hide large-scale criminal money flows, including crypto hacking and fraud.
These included money stolen through hacking by a group believed to be linked to North Korea. Tornado Cash started in 2019 and has since generated at least $7 billion in revenue, according to FACT.”
The news came shortly after the US Treasury Department placed dozens of Tornado Cash addresses on the OFAC (Office of Foreign Asset Control) sanctions list on August 8.
then froze $75,000 associated with OFAC-approved addresses.
Due to sanctions, it is now illegal for any US person or entity to interact with Tornado Cash smart contract addresses. Penalties for willful non-compliance can range from a $50,000 to $10,000,000 fine and 10 to 30 years in prison.
The Treasury Department’s move led to the rapid development of events around Tornado Cash. According to some sources, several people were arrested in the USA and Estonia for alleged involvement in the mixer. Roman Panchenko from Seattle and Nikita Dementiev from Tallinn are allegedly among those arrested.
Many in the crypto community have expressed their anger at the authorities’ arrest of developers and others involved in the development of Tornado Cash. Industry watchers have pointed out that charging coders for creating privacy tools goes against the principles of a free society.
Amid reports, Tornado Cash’s Discord channel was reportedly shut down on Friday. The official Telegram group is still intact at the time of writing.
Related: Tornado Cash Co-Founder Reports Rise on GitHub as Industry Reacts to Sanctions
Ethereum-based Tornado Cash is a tool that allows users to hide cryptocurrency transactions to protect their identity by scrambling information trails on the blockchain. Vitalik Buterin, one of the co-founders of Ethereum, claimed that he used Tornado Cash to donate money to Ukraine in order to protect the financial privacy of the beneficiaries.